Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hilarious Videos -- Top 10 Tips to be Video Ready

Just in time for the holidays and video calling with family and friends, below are the "Top 10 Tips to be Video Ready" -- an extremely hilarious video "take" on each and every tip. I really urge you to click on the link to each tip below to view the video from the now infamous "SightSpeed Guy." You will not be disappointed. Trust me on this one ... and feel free to share ...

Top 10 Tips to Become Video-Ready

1. Place the webcam on the top, center, of your screen or monitor: By placing your webcam on the top-center of your computer, it will appear as if you are looking at the person you are conversing with. If you place your webcam on the side of your monitor, the other party will only get a side view. This is only a good thing if you love your profile. Having the camera in the center also allows you to watch the person you are conversing with while making it appear as if you are keeping eye contact with them.

2. Make sure you have good lighting: It is crucial that you have good lighting. If there is a bright window or strong lighting behind you, it will make you look dark—but direct sunlight can make you look washed out. To achieve the perfect color, close your blinds or curtains and use indirect lighting to illuminate your face (no tanning required).

3. Position yourself correctly: You should not be too close or too far from the camera. Your face should be the centerpiece. When properly composed, you should appear with your head and shoulders nicely framed in the picture.

4. Use a good webcam: SightSpeed can transmit 30 frames per second, which is what televisions receive. Some webcams cannot keep up and detract from what otherwise would be a good image. In the case of webcams, price infers quality. As a rule of thumb, stay away from anything under $50 and look for CCD sensor cameras to get better picture quality.

5. Headsets and sound quality: The best way to ensure good audio is by using a headset with an attached microphone. This will eliminate feedback problems, such as echoing, and background noises that might occur when using a computer with speakers and a microphone.

6. Limit your movements while on camera: Movements like waving your hands or rocking in your chair will cause a lag in the video. It may also make the other participants to become dizzy and sick to their stomachs.

7. Dress for TV: If you wear clothing with large patterns, shiny clothing or distracting jewelry, slight movements will cause the video software to spend a lot of time compressing and decompressing the images on your clothing. This will make your face and head movements unclear, and these are the most important.

8. Internet connection: Broadband service is recommended over other Internet access services. Your connection speed, as well as the connection speed of the person with whom you are conversing, directly impact the quality of your video experience. Slower connection speeds result in fuzzy or paused video and choppy audio.

9. Be yourself: Speak naturally and clearly. Imagine that the person you are conversing with is in the same room as you because…they are. Enjoy!

10. Be Safe: Don’t give out information that you wouldn’t give to a stranger. Just because it’s the Internet doesn’t mean it’s safer! And hey…you can always “google” the person before you meet on SightSpeed! Know the person you’re talking to.

For more great tips on video communications visit SightSpeed.com. Top 10 Tips to Become Video-Ready

Hollywood --- Still A Lot to Learn About the Internet

The several week old strike between Hollywood writers and producers -- which thrusts the issue of exploitation and remuneration for content distribution over the Internet front and center -- is at an ugly standstill at this point. And, it is now virtually a lock that everyone involved will receive a big lump of coal for the holidays, as the strike shows no signs of abating despite the millions of dollars lost on a daily basis.

As the Los Angeles Times points out this morning, one thing is clear -- the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP, which represents the studios in these negotiations), still has much to learn about the basics of the Internet.

Case in point -- some folks loyal to the writers have launched a fake website using the URLs amptp.com and amptp.net to skewer the studios and producers. How did they do this? Well, the AMPTP simply had "forgotten" to register those key domain names!

A favorite passage on the faux website skewers, lampoons, ridicules (or whatever else you want to call it) the AMPTP's latest proposal to the writers, saying that the AMPTOP was "heartbroken" that negotiations had collapsed "despite our best efforts, including sending them a muffin basket, making them a mixed CD and standing outside their window with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel songs."

Of course, the last passage refers to the great movie "Say Anything" starring John Cusack -- I recommend you watch it. And, don't forget, AMPTP members were behind the making of that movie!